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Us 14, San Francisco 2, New York 2, The High-end 1, Washington 1, Jackson 1, David Behar 1, Fla. 1, El Nino 1, Adaptation 1, Seattle 1, Plumas 1, Bayside 1, Treasure Island 1, Etc. 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    March 8, 2011
    2:30 - 3:00pm PST  

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possible in the various where we treat some of the -- in this my logical manner and we might be interested and surprised at the results and finding that we have very good water quality. and it could be used for irrigation and not sent to the bay. >> would you mind explaining what a campos toilet is -- comp ost to-- would you mind explaining what a compost toilet is? >> i've never used one. from looking at the building behind our building to try to
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figure out, you still have to get rid of the compost. the people that lived in this area, what will they use it for? there are a lot of challenges around these kinds of things that we need to get out. >> my understanding is that it does not go into the sewage system, this goes into a hole in the ground and there are a natural products that can be added to neutralize. that is a general idea. >> this is like a septic tank. >> many of them are self- contained, they go into a holding container underneath and you can add more things which provide more compost. this is taking the nutrients that are there and the human race and making them usable again. -- human waste and making them
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usable again. buseptic systems seem to have other things going on. this is land that has no water use because there's no water going here. this is often seen in more rural areas. there are many advantages to it. this is hard to imagine in a high-rise urban setting where you would not have a garden to take advantage of these. >> it would be interesting if we have at conversation about municipal waste and the issues that we might be facing with our landfill filling up and the application issues at what we would like to look at in terms of our municipal waste overall. >> we need more information. it would be helpful to me. i do not know how it would work in urban settings but it be easy
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to find out. >> we will put that together for you. we are partnering with the folks at -- which they have when they are in operation. our staff is working closely with them to test out the technology. >> great. thank you. >> this is a segue to the next item. >> i want to make sure there is no other public comment on this. >> an update on climate change. following up on the conversations that we just had. david behar is here to talk about climate change. >> good afternoon.
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i am here today to give an overview of our climate change projects. we will go through these relatively quickly. please feel free to ask questions at any time and interrupt. i am privileged to be able to work both locally and at the state level and nationally on these issues. what i appreciate is how we don't -- we are accepting of the fact of a climate change. we know this is happening, it has been happening, it will happen in the future. this allows programs to reduce our carbon filament to be expected in the community and allows many of the programs in terms of assessing our vulnerability to the future and climate change can move forward without controversy. what is going on in congress is
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that we should be appreciative of our ability to do this. we will focus primarily on all of those issues but really zero in on adaptation and assessment a little bit more. i will split a side because i put them out of order. -- i will skip a slide because i put them out of order. we start with temperature, it used to be called the global warming, we say climate change today. this is warming. that is an inexorable single focused direction we have seen from the models. we see a lot about a minimum verses maximum temperatures. nighttime temperatures have an impact on what happens with snowpack in the evening and that has an impact on how quickly snow melts when it gets going during the day. we have seen a significant increase in the past 20 years as
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opposed to a maximum temperatures where we have seen not much of a trend. also the effects of elevation, these are very important to us. precipitation, that is our bread and butter. what form does it fall into a range versus no, how much of it falls? the timing of precipitation. these are critical factors that are engaged in such work. the variability is where our vulnerability is come. this includes drought, storm intensity. what is the severity of drought in the future? how much worse will storms get in the future? what will this mean for water quality? of course, there is a sea level rise. this is a critical factor for those of us along the coast.
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climate change affects the hydrological. precipitation, compensation. -- condensation. we are seen as first responders to the potential effect of climate change. our everyday work is bound up in the hydrological cycle. i'm going over not so much why we should care but how we should care about climate change, how we should approach evaluating the issue. we are approaching this on a timer rise in which matches up with the way we think. most apartments have capital programs. frequently, we think of capital improvement programs, large ones, as being on a 20-30 year time horizon.
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we are building those that will have a life cycle of a hundred years are more. -- or more. it matches well with the way we think and the way we plan to think about climate change in this way and this is what we are doing. i often say that we are in a time of assessments rather than adaptation to day and there are exceptions to that. i will talk about one of those today. the questions we are asking ourselves is what is our vulnerability? what is the effect of climate change? i will talk about why that is and how it plays out. one of the ways that to this plays out is the way to understand certainty. much of the work that we do and understating the potential impacts is bound up in uncertainty and a this is not the uncertainty that the climate the deniers in congress are talking about, although we have to be cognizant about confusing people. this is not uncertainty about
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the fact that this is happening but what it means. when we look at outputs on climate change that we need to think about are the ranges, not simple values. we seeing on quantifiable probability. these are the extremes that we might see in the future. -- these are non quantifiable probabilities. this is one of the challenges that you will hear about again and again as you deal with the climate change issues. finally, we are approaching looking at climate change from a leadership position and being cutting edge at the state and local level. our general manager shares the water utility climate alliance which is one of the most important utilities focusing on climate change intensity. we have a number of other initiatives that we are engaged
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in at the federal and state level. we think that these are important to do so that we understand what is happening out there while we are also making sure that we are focusing on our own operations and infrastructure and vulnerability. what i will do is focus in on a couple of key initiatives starting with the water enterprise. the first project i want to talk about is the pilot utility applications. we have made reference to this before. this is a national project with local implementation. it has five utilities from around the country, four size programs based where those regions exist and a modeling advisory committee made up of climate scientists and practitioners in the adaptation
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community that will help us proceed with this project. as this emerges from the work with the climate utility alliance. federal agencies who are really in the league in terms of public officials trying to deal with a lot of this. our fellow water providers, etc.. what became to is the idea that we need a state of the art assessment for each of us individually that is informative across the different regions. new york, san francisco, fla. learned from one another. each of our individual assessments bound together nationally in a way that will help us to do a state of the art assessment and learn as we go. that is what the project is about. starting at the top, what happened? that is down.
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starting at the top of the models of the slide we presented in the past, what are the state of the art climate modeling tools and techniques which she used in any assessment? -- which we should use in any assessment? all models are wrong but some are useful. which ones are useful, which are more wrong than others, which should we use? not just blindly following the data that we get but as the assessment requires and looking at what that data tells us or does not tell us and incorporate this that we get from non modeling tools and using this in our assessment. we are moving forward with that aspect which i would say is the most difficult part of what we have to do in the project. we are understanding what these models tell us or don't tell us.
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we will translate data that we get into a form that we can use in our downstream tools. the models that we use for the management of our system. we need to build a national collaboration and at the end of the day, we will assess the potential impact on our water supply. we have been working on building this for about a year and it will be at least a year before we have some answers. our official goal is to finish in 2011 and the unofficial goal is to get it in early 2012 because it will take a lot of different parts moving in intelligent well -- and intelligent ways for the first time. i'm hoping that we have some output on this in a year. one of the schools that we prol of our future projects -- one of
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the tools that we will have in this project and for all of our future projects is this model. we are nearing completion on calibration of our model. hydrology models are models of the physical processes that occur and the watershed, things like soil moisture infiltration, a separation. they tell you what the stream flow will be. they received as and put things like precipitation entablature. they allow us to change precipitation to accommodate some hypothetical future under climate change scenarios so we can evaluate the effect of those potential futures on runoff. that is step one in
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understanding the water supply impact as we discussed. other factors that it can't receive includes wind and solar radiation that can have effects different than solar radiation. this is fairly complex. leveraging a lot of the work that the district did in developing this model first, working with it for 10 years and then with us, in the first phase of our calibration effort. we invested in tweaking the model so it reproduced the past hydrology using past information as much as possible. we've leveraged 10-years of work that was done as well the project that we done and we have taken over the calibration ourselves in the water enterprise and are on the edge of finishing the project right now to give us a model that we think will be wrong but useful in terms of predicting what happens in the watershed when
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precipitation and temperature and other factors change. part of the calibration project is to conduct a sensitivity analysis of our systems. the sensitivity of inflow to changes in precipitation and temperature primarily that we think we will see potentially or hypothetically from climate change. this is not a climate change projection. this is a sensitivity analysis that looks at low end prediction for temperature increases, high and predictions for temperature increases, low-end predictions for temperature changes. up -- for precipitation changes. then high and changes on the negative side to create a set of scenarios.
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this ends up being 18 different parings of temperature and precipitation change. what that will do is bound for us the range of potential effects that we will see if any of those scenarios for to come true. on the worst and, you have a 5.4 degree temperature increase which is about 9 degrees fahrenheit. this is pretty significant. this is the top and temperature change which was reported in 2007. we will see if that changes in the future. at the high-end, we factored in a decrease in precipitation of 15%. at the end of the day, we will get that worst-case scenario and a best case scenario, with 0.6 degrees celsius and an increase of 2%. it will tell us where we need to worry. what do we need to worry about
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if things come true in terms of the inflow? this is not a water supply analysis, however. to get to water supply, you have to take the next step down, take the inflow, then we need to model our local water system. 15% of the water that falls as rain into our system. obviously, there is no snow pack their but what is the effect of rain antipater? we need to run this through our operations model to tell us what the potential impact on water supply would be. this is a step by step process. it will end with the operations modeling and an assessment of what our potential supply impact would be. that is what the project will use using climate modeling output of that represents the state of the science.
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that is what the sensitivity analysis will began to do for inflow. we will see where we go after we get that information on the shorter term. that is water. let's talk about wastewater enterprise initiatives. if there is one thing that moves us from assessment to adaptation, it is sea level rise, especially as we live along the coast. the sea level predictions are only going in one direction. we have already seen a sea level increase in the past year. in san francisco, a little bit can make a big difference. going through this slide -- >> 8 inches in the past year? >> no, the last century. >> i would have noticed that. >> no, that would be alarming. >> 3 millimeters a year right now. sorry.
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the parallel line right here is -- we will talk about the vulnerability of the storm water collection system which we have done before this commission. we will talk about how the salt water can get into the collections system and compromise our treatment processes. the orange line is the uppermost -- the lower level of the storm water collection system along the bay. this is the pay level. when water goes over these, they kick into the transport storage box which leads to transplant. it can compromise the treatment processes. the green dots, those are annual peak times over the last century. you can see how they are going out. the sea level is increasing. this is important because this
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is the highest level of the year. what we have seen in the collections system is seven or 8 overflows per year over the last several years. we know that that will only get worse as the sea level rises further. we know that the inundation of the sea water into the storm water collection system will only become more frequent and potentially become a problem. this is something that we need to address. this will become more of a problem, of course, but these are the sea level rise curves from the literature. this is 7-23 inches. this is the peak level which is adopted by the state. this is a 100 year tide level which would make that the frequency of flooding even more
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frequent. this will be seeing much more in this area and you will see more flow into the systems and this is a problem. this is a problem we are addressing with the prevention program. we are doing an analysis at 29 points along the bay which are vulnerable to or have seen inundation into the water system because of high tides washington. we have talked about installing these in the past. this would allow water to go out and stop water from going in. this is the most sensitive to backflow. we are looking at how to dress back flow into the outflow at jackson street as the first design priority. this is adaptation. when i do my public speaking, i frequently talk about while we
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are in a year of assessment, that is not the only story. there are those who are planning on investing in preventing the effects of climate change which we know are coming. this is a good example of that. in the long term, the commission has approved levels of services which includes the goal of modifying the system to adapt to the effects of climate change. this will be focused on that as was mentioned by doing a number of things including a topographical survey and looking at where inundation might take place at different levels of sea level rise we might see at what kind of designer strategies we should take -- design strategies we should take. what is the basis for the long- term strategy on sea level rise and the potential on the ocean side? that might be important for creating resilience for our system. from a climate change
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perspective, done carefully and correctly, caught the scent of the sites and what it tells us today and what it does not tell us today, wheat can be innovators in innovating this from a climate change perspective. you don't have that many opportunities to incorporate climate change into a long term capital planning. we should focus on rainfall intensity. this is a very difficult thing to study. this is a trend that we will see greater rainfall intensity. we can do that. we are investing a lot of money in rebuilding systems. >> before you move on, i had a
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couple of questions on that. the rainfall intensity question, i am hoping that the discussions and planning that it can be in the context of climate change. we don't always remember that climate change is an overriding subjects that we should be paying attention to as we are designing our system. we want to keep water out of the system but of that intensity and using models, this would be very helpful. >> let me comment on the models. this is something that we spent some time on the plumas project. this was just 435 operators among the five utilities. the advances are that we were looking at the intensity modeling question as opposed to long-term tenant -- trends in temperature and precipitation that the water business people care most about. this is for seattle, new york,
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and ask for the members of the alliance. the short answer was not really or not yet. the models are not sophisticated enough to deal at the temper of scale and the spatial scale that we think about. these are numbers of meters and members of minutes. modeling at a five-minute interval, 15 minutes, we would have a lot of wastewater utilities. that does not mean that the size does not say anything of value. we are trying to evaluate the
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climate models. what we understand about what the systems and el nino, to qualitatively see how these might play out in the future. we can put this in the context of what the climate models say. there is data, we have to look at every piece of data that we have today. during the planning phase, this is an improvement program and we went back and look at seven years' worth of data. we will see these in the bayside system. i have come up with a plan that we revisit every five years. we are looking at a storm intensity surge.
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>> i am glad that at work is ongoing because i do think that the adaptation peace moves us forward, the better. we know what is coming and some of this is already happening. you did not mention anything about our actual facilities in the southeast treatment. both of those are pretty low- line as well. -- low-lying as well. >> this does factoring and looking at new facilities that will be in place for 5200 years. we are looking at many different aspects. we are looking at one that was considered which was a likelihood of flooding. we are looking at areas which would be inundated with in the foreseeable future up to 55 inches but we have 2100 to 55
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inches because when you're building a permanent facility that we are depending on to treat our waste water, we would prefer it would be there. we do consider that when we are citing a facility. this would be a challenge as well >> with that end up on the pier? >> we have not got to that point and it would be some type of creative challenge. >> they are more interested in levees at treasure island. >> what is the salinization fitting into this -- where does desalinization fit into this? >> there are strategies for water providers, especially in the west. those things seem to be